Phil Caldwell

Sports Blogging With a Grin

Oregon vs. Auburn: Cockroaches and Flying Insects Killed From ESPN’s PreGame

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GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Challenger, a Bald Eagle circles the stadium during the national anthem for the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game between the Oregon Ducks and Auburn Tigers at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Before the big Tostidos BCS National Championship game featuring the Auburn Tigers vs the Oregon Ducks, fans were treated to stunning pre-game rhetoric so profound that paint peeled from the walls of every living room in America.

ESPN pre-game guys went nuts with heavy analysis that challenged the brain dead and stupid.

It was a cliché-fest of epic proportions.

Desmond Howard started it an hour before kickoff with Heisman Trophy form by declaring that the “team that kept the ball out of the hands of the offense would probably play better defense.”

Announcing pals Lou Holtz, Nick Saben and Urban Meyer quickly joined in by pointing out that if the game didn’t turn into a big huge shootout with hundreds of points scored, it would probably be low scoring.

Shockingly all four felt the SEC was a superior league that was faster and bigger.

Tom Rinaldi thought the Oregon uniforms were prettier, but being as he was wearing a sharp looking Gianfranco Ferré suit, viewers were immediately hit with several larger questions that will not be discussed in this article. (btw – if you know who Gianfranco Ferré is, it means you’re probably gay)


Back to Urban Meyer, who made the profound pronouncement that “preparation stops when the game starts.” (witnesses say they saw Ron Fairly writing that one down in case he ever gets another crack at doing a Mariners game)

Nick Saban quickly noted that “the team that executes better and is better equipped to control their emotions would probably play better in the end, than the team that goes all jittery.”

At this point Desmond Howard finished the topic with this nugget of wisdom: “Whomever has the longest drives and controls the ball the most, would probably do well.”

Then it came to pre-game score predictions. “Fellas, who do you think will win tonight?”

A wrinkled Lou Holtz said “the team that got the luckiest would win, and that would be Auburn. Then again it might be Oregon.” He wasn’t sure, but thought it would be Auburn. “But it might be the Ducks too.”

Nick Saban tried to avoid answering the question by continuing with his head control theme, saying “the team that shows the most maturity will win.”  Something rival pal-coach Urban Meyer clearly was not doing, because several cameras caught him in an accidental eye roll.

Meyer then added that he liked Oregon and thought they were the better team, but that the Tigers  would win. But he wouldn’t be surprised if the Ducks won. In fact if Auburn lost, he was pretty sure Oregon would win.


Desmond Howard said he like the Ducks better because they were faster and quicker, and then diverted by mentioning how pretty Lou Holtz’s ring was. A discussion about Lou’s jewelry dominated the next couple of minutes.

Meanwhile sideline reporter Erin Andrews favored Auburn because stud Heisman trophy winner Cam Newton had a nice butt.

A story about Darron Thomas broke out and had fans sobbing uncontrollably, especially when they showed him dressed in a yellow jersey with black sleeves and pants, with a gray helmet from a 2009 Ducks game (yikes).

Oregon coach Chip Kelly was trapped in the hallway under the stadium by several reporters in training pants, and said his plan was to “play against a faceless opponent.” (huh?)

Perhaps most opponents look this way to Coach Kelly, since this poor man has had a full season of his corneas seared from those Oregon color schemes?

Meanwhile other huge, interesting points were being made every second.

An expose was rolled out about Oregon’s color-blind design team and their task to dress the teams for the big game. Fascinating stuff, especially when they showed them picking fabric and sorting through pastels at a warehouse.

The hype really cut loose when Oregon’s team exploded onto the field midst smoke and hoopla.


The Ducks were clad in gray uniforms with glowing yellow knee socks and fluorescent yellow emblems on the helmet.  Interesting how Nike chose to put the focus on socks. Perhaps some new marketing scheme featuring hot new footware? My TV screen is permanently damaged with shoestring streaks.

Particular attention was paid, via marketing and study costing millions, to ensuring these colors looked absolutely horrible together. In fact doctors across America reported eye site in clients dropped as much as 20-30% from watching this mess for straight three hours.

Oregon also had shiny gray numbers with stripes, and little stripes on their helmets.  The numbers on the jerseys were outlined in the same glowing bright yellow color that looked terrible with the gray. But I must admit, that after drinking heavily for these two hours, the yellow and gray color combination was growing on me.

The Duck’s cheerleaders were also dressed in colors that could kill thistles. However ironically, the cheerleaders were the only members of the Oregon contingent dressed in, you know, actual school colors.

Auburn’s cheer squad, in contrast, wore outfits designed in 1959.  Something most long-time college football fans like. They also like the Tiger’s traditional colors of dark blue jerseys with white pants trimmed in orange that are easy on the eyes.


What is there really to discuss about this?  They’ve been wearing these togs for four decades, almost as if they valued school tradition or something.

Last but not least, lucky home viewers had the pleasure of listening to the best TV team ESPN had to offer. Kirk Herbstreit and Bret Musberger, who introduced themselves as game announcers for the evening.

They too, shared their views on pregame analysis with stunning excellence and brilliance.

Mursberger, still unforgiven for saying “the fat lady will sing” 46,578 times during the seven game 1979 NBA finals while announcing for CBS a century ago, pointed out that Auburn is 1778 miles away from Glendale, Arizona, where the game was being played. But since Oregon is only 1223 miles away, that means the Ducks had the advantage.

He showed a map on a 72″ flat screen with a pointer, proving this. Oh and the stadium grass was grown near the Oregon campus half way between Eugene and Salem, so that meant the Ducks had a turf advantage too.

Not to be outdone by this aging broadcasting veteran, handsome and spray-tanned Kirk Herbstreit pointed out that “the team that dominates the line would do much better in this game, and if either team gets tired they “would rotate in and out worse.”

Teams of expert translators are still trying to decipher that last part.


In other words, if you were dumb enough to watch the pregame telecast for two hours like I did, it means you probably have no life, no future, and likely have several thousand less brain cells alive today.

Especially since every single one of these statements have been repeated before most big football games over the past five decades by every pundit on the planet!

Just before kickoff, Brent Musberger wrapped it all up by saying “Fans love the excitement before these big games, more than other games during the year.”

I was so moved by that comment that I missed the first quarter and a half in deep thought.

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Written by PhilCaldwell

January 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm

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